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Phosphene thresholds evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation are insensitive to short-lasting variations in ambient light

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84000

Kammer,  T
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Former Department Comparative Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83799

Beck,  S
Former Department Comparative Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kammer, T., & Beck, S. (2002). Phosphene thresholds evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation are insensitive to short-lasting variations in ambient light. Experimental Brain Research, 145(3), 407-410. Retrieved from http://link.springer.de/link/service/journals/00221/contents/02/01160/.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-E0B6-D
Abstract
Abstract Transcranial magnetic stimulation applied over the occipital pole is able to induce the perception of light flashes called phosphenes. For phosphene detection and threshold measurement subjects are usually blindfolded or investigated in the dark. The question that we posed here is whether phosphene thresholds change with variations in ambient light. In six subjects we measured thresholds under four different conditions: closed eyes (5 minutes of adaptation) and 0.5, 100, and 3200 cd/m2 background illumination. No systematic change in phosphene thresholds was observed with different lighting conditions. In three subjects we repeated the measurements after one week and again found similar values with no systematic modulation. Our data show that cortical excitability does not change with different light adaptation levels. This confirms that the main adaptation to light takes place at subcortical levels, namely at the retina. The practical conclusion is that it is unnecessary to blindfold subjects when determining phosphene thresholds.